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Cost Of Spain's Political Crisis Tallied In Pizzas

Telepizza is a Spanish company with affiliates around the world
Telepizza is a Spanish company with affiliates around the world

MADRIDThe political gridlock in Spain is getting just a bit silly: two general elections and endless soap-operatic negotiations since December 2015 have yet to produce a stable government among the bickering parties.

No doubt, as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy searches in vain for a ruling majority, there are real-life ramifications across the country. This week Spanish telecom giant Telefónica revealed in documents for an IPO selloff of Telxius, its infrastructure arm, that Spain's political instability was hurting the company's bottom line.

Now, as El Mundo reports Thursday, all the political heat has apparently struck Telepizza, the Spanish pizza take-out chain. The pizza delivery giant's general manager in Spain, Pablo Juantegui, said growth in pizza orders had "halted" since May 2016, because of consumer "uncertainty and loss of confidence," partly attributable to the legislative paralysis.

Still, such crispy analysis doesn't necessarily jibe with broader signs about Spain's economy. On Tuesday, acting economy minister Luis de Guindos said the economy will expand by more than 3% this year, beating earlier government forecasts.

Sure, no one likes national political gridlock. But both Telepizza and Telefónica should perhaps first take a closer look at how they're stiring their own sauce.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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